Cortisol and Muscle Loss
Updated: Apr 27
In my previous article, I explained why losing weight is a lousy goal. To be more precise, I explained the importance of losing fat while maintaining lean muscle versus only thinking about losing weight. There is a huge difference between the two.
The standard advice of exercising more and eating less assumes that changing one factor doesn’t influence the other. However, just the opposite is true. Calories and energy expenditure are dependent variables, meaning that if you change one, it will influence the other. The body is constantly looking to maintain homeostasis therefore if you consume less calories (decrease energy in) your body has to slow down it’s metabolism in order to maintain homeostasis. Just the same is true if you exercise more, your body will increase its appetite to consume more energy (calories in) to make up for the energy demands of the increased exercise.
With this information in hand, you can now see that if we take the standard advice to exercise more and eat less, the body must compensate some how to make up for the energy demands. It does this by doing two things:
1. Slows down our metabolism
2. Increases Cortisol Output
Slowing down our metabolism conserves energy, but the body also needs to get energy from somewhere to make up for the demand of increased exercise. Therefore, it produces high amounts of cortisol which in turn breaks down muscle tissue to deliver energy to the body.
The big problem with this is that when we begin to lose muscle, our body then slows down it’s natural metabolism even more because we have less lean mass. This is why when we begin to increase calories, not only do we gain the weight back we lost, but because our metabolism is slower, we now gain back even more weight than before due to the decreased metabolism. Now you can see why just losing weight isn’t such a good idea.
If you want to maintain long term fat loss, you must focus on maintaining, if not increasing your lean mass, while decreasing your fat stores. Which is exactly what our new Leptin Reset Ft in 42 program is designed to do. Click Here to get started!